Know Before You Rent

3 Things to Know Before You Apply for an Apartment

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If you’re an experienced renter, you know the importance of asking the right questions: What utilities does the tenant pay for and what’s the average monthly cost? Who do I contact with maintenance requests? If it’s an issue that concerns you and you want it addressed before you sign a lease, you’re going to ask about it.

But there are also three questions you should ask about yourself before you apply for housing:

  • Do I have a criminal history (or errors on my criminal history report)?
  • Is there a negative issue affecting my credit (or errors on the credit report)?
  • Do I have an eviction history (or errors on your rental historyreport)?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it may be affecting your ability to rent. Criminal history, bad credit and eviction history are the three main things landlords look at when they conduct a rental history report.

If you’re not sure about whether a past event might show up when you apply for housing, it’s a great idea to purchase your own rental history report. By knowing where you stand before you apply, you can explain the issue to potential landlords, and determine whether or not it’s worth your time to fill out an application. Potential landlords will also likely value honesty about your rental history, as opposed to learning something surprising when they conduct a background check.

Even if you don’t have an issue you’re aware of in the past, it’s never a bad idea to get your own rental history report in case there’s something that’s mistakenly showing up on your report. Something that you’re not aware of may be affecting your ability to rent.